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Variations on a theme of Jesus
on 12 February 2010
I found this book frustrating and inspirational at the same time. Anyone who expects a textbook on how to become a leader will feel disappointed. Anyone who ever had a strong conviction and found an excuse not to push the idea, like me, will feel guilty. Anyone who still has a strong conviction in an idea, or in themselves, will find inspiration.
I don't exactly know what Seth's motives with the structure of the book is, but the blurb on the back cover perhaps says it all "Tribes is for those who don't want to be sheep and instead have a desire to do fresh and exciting work". Fresh and exciting per definition cannot follow a tried and trusted recipe. So don't expect one from Seth. Apply your own intellect and knowledge to the hints, reassurances, admonishments, and challenges in this book, and you WILL find value. But only if you are willing to do most of the thinking work yourself.
In a 2010 interview, Seth said about his own writing that it becomes better if he writes like he talks. He is predisposed to an audience who understands what he talks about, as opposed to an audience who needs twice as much explanation. I think in his writing he is focusing on the act of "tightening his tribe" rather than succumbing to the temptation of making the tribe bigger - page 44, "Tighter".
After all, not everyone wants to be a leader. If you don't want to be one, don't read the book.
Final thought - halfway through the book, I couldn't help but recognise a strong correlation between "Tribes" and the story of Jesus as told in the four Gospels. Uncanny how incredibly well Jesus fits his description of a tribal leader .... Seth is a modern Apostle.